Conic Cards (a summarization)

My first Algebra 2 class just took their quiz on Conics (which they learned from using the conic cards... see here and here and here).  I thought it went pretty well - the kids acclimated quickly to working and learning on their own.  I enjoyed hearing them learn and discuss and figure things out.

All in all, a great couple of weeks.  (But we'll see when I grade the quizzes, too!)

I gave them a half-sheet to write down some feedback/suggestions on after they took their quiz.  Here are some of the comments I received:
1.  What did you think about using the conic cards to learn about conics?  (What was good?  What was bad?)
  • I thought it helped for the most part. At times I wished we would've had written notes to look back at.
  • It was good that we had to learn somewhat independently. Somewhat bad because we are not used to learning this way.
  • I liked it forced group work and made it really simple.
  • It was good I learned quickly and easily.
  • It was great. I learned because I had to. Math is typically very boring for me and I can't help but fall asleep during lessons no matter how much I fight it, but the cards kept me focused.
  • I liked it b/c we were in groups and it was something different.
  • It was harder to learn that way, but it was okay.
  • It was in between. I liked working in groups but I always feel like I learn better from teachers.
  • I didn't like the fact that we basically taught ourselves.
  • The cards were confusing at first but they helped me see what each category needed and what they look like.
  • I didn't like it at first but after the 2nd day I understood and got used to the pattern.  I think it worked well.
  • I liked them. It was something different than notes everyday.
  • I liked it I think it really helped me get the information.
  • It was a good way to switch it up. The only bad part was not really having notes.
  • I thought it was a good idea. I understood how to deal with conics using the cards. I also like how it was more visual learning.
  • I liked them. It helped to show the similarities and differences between all the equations.
  • Visual learning and somewhat kinetic, more teamwork
  • I liked using them because it made me pay more attention. It was great practice, too.
2.  Do you think I should use this lesson again next year?  Are there any changes you would make to it?
  • All yes's for the first question.
  • Review with you teaching at the end of each class making sure everyone knows what they are doing.
  • Change groups each day.
  • Although you seemed stressed running around it worked well. 
  • I think you should just maybe help a little more. (I'll consider that one a success! :)  )
  • I would spend a bit more time on hyperbolas.
  • It made more sense to me when my peers were explaining it than when we went over it as a class.
  • I think that it would be nice to use the last 10 minutes of class to review the topics to make sure everyone understood.
  • Explain it more before we start, it was a little confusing in the beginning.
  • Yes but with notes.
  • Maybe a little more time explaining it.
  • Add a sheet with actual formulas to keep, not just on a card.
So I definitely will be doing this again. I think giving a formula sheet for them to fill out is a great idea, as is a little summarizing at the end of each class.